Tourism revenue spreads into rural areas

The development of rural-based tourism is expected to spread significant tourism revenues into remote rural areas benefitting the local people, an official has stated. Firmansyah Rahim, director general for destination development at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, told Bali Daily on Wednesday that the direct involvement of local villagers in rural tourism would give them access to economic resources. “The ministry is now aggressively developing ‘Desa Wisata’, or community-based tourism that involves all members of the developing village,” said Rahim.

The development pattern of rural villages must be shifted to a more comprehensive community activity rather than just a one-day stop pattern, he said. “The visit agendas to villages must be designed attractively to invite more tourists to stay in the village for a longer period,” he said, adding that it could increase economic opportunities and living conditions for the people in these villages. Rahim said the largest spending for a tourist usually went on tickets, accommodation, food and beverages.

If a tourist spends a day or two in a village, he or she will spend part of their travel cost in the village for accommodation, food and beverage. “The economy will run well for villagers, local guides, souvenir makers,” Rahim added. According to a survey on tourist behavior conducted by Bank Indonesia’s Bali and Nusa Tenggara office, a foreign tourist spends US$150.23 per day per person, excluding airfares. In 2012, foreign tourists spent $144.40 per day per person.

Stephanie Gunawan, coordinator of the survey, said that 20.36 percent of the travel cost went to accommodation, 13.29 percent to food and beverage, tour packages 6.78 percent and souvenirs 6.4 percent. Rahim said that he was optimistic that the development of village tourism would increase in the coming years. “Tourists from America and Europe are interested in spending holidays enjoying nature and green areas. They like visiting and enjoying the real lives of the Balinese people.”

There are some challenges, however, in village tourism development and any individual or company involved must really understand how to enhance all the potential in the village. Ketut Astra, head of Bali Tourism Agency’s development program, said there were 166 villages in Bali developed as Desa Wisata. In 2013, there are three villages — Munduk, Temu and Kukung, being developed as Desa Wisata. The provincial administration has also provided funding of around Rp 430 million ($36,000) to five villages — Gesing and Ambengan in Buleleng regency, Ekasari in Jembrana regency, Mangesta in Tabanan regency and Munggu in Badung regency.

source : bali daily

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